Schroeder emigrated to British Columbia from Germany in 1951. He has made his
living as a freelance writer for the past 43 years - writing books of poetry,
fiction, nonfiction and radio drama, as well as translations, journalism and
literary criticism. During bouts of certifiable dementia he has also committed
brazen acts of cultural politics, serving as chairman of the Writers' Union of
Canada ( 1976-77), and founding chairman the Public Lending Right Commission (
1985-88), on whose Board he continued to serve from 1988 until 2008. He
currently holds the Rogers Communications Chair in Creative Nonfiction at the
University of British Columbia (UBC Creative Writing).
23 books include, most recently, Renovating Heaven (autobiographical
novel), as well as Shaking It Rough (nonfiction), Dustship Glory (novel), File Of Uncertainties (poetry), The Late Man (short fictions), Toccata
In ‘D’ (novella), The Eleventh Commandment (Mennonite Low German
stories in English translation co-authored with Jack Thiessen), and The
Mennonites In Canada (history). He has also published three popular
collections of outrageous scams and hoaxes (Scams, Scandals &
Skulduggery; Cheats, Charlatans & Chicanery, and Fakes, Frauds &
Flimflammery) which were originally broadcast in shorter form on CBC
Radio’s Basic Black Show, for which he was a contributor and performer
for 12 years.
books have been finalists for the Governor-General's Award (Shaking It Rough,
1976), the Sealbooks First Novel Award (Dustship Glory, 1984), the
Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction (Cheats, Charlatans & Chicanery,
1998) and the BC Book Prizes’ Ethel Wilson Fiction Award (Renovating Heaven,
2008). He won a National Magazine Award in 1990, a Stephen Leacock Award in
1997, and a Canadian Association of Journalists' Best Investigative Journalism
Award in 1991. He has also won the OLA Red Maple Award twice for young-adult
nonfiction, namely for Thieves! and Scams! .
lives in Roberts Creek, on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.